Lots going on the last couple of days.
Thursday we went to the Children's Museum. But lunch first in an outdoor café.
A ride on the dad-powered carousel.
Then inside to explore.
Yesterday was jam-packed. A water park adventure. WARNING. Lots of cute old and young kid photos.
Next, trying to get four 5 to 9 year olds to take a nap. Then a trip to a local brew pub (too busy sampling the local brews to take pictures. Then back home for a bit before we all went to the Leander McCormick Observatory.
"The University of Virginia operates the McCormick Observatory, located on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. The observatory was constructed after a gift from Leander J. McCormick to build one of the largest telescopes in the world. The 26-inch astrometric refractor was the second largest telescope in the world when it was dedicated on April 13, 1885 (Thomas Jefferson's Birthday). The telescope was the primary research instrument for the department until the 1960's and was used for astrometry into the 1990's." Here's a link if you want further information: http://www.leandermccormick.org/about/milestones/
Our tour guide was an astronomy professor with same last name but no relation to my BIL. While we waited for it to get dark, he gave us an overview to the solar system and universe interesting to both adults and kids, who asked lots of questions.
Then to the telescope. It took quite a bit of time to make adjustments, involving much moving of the dome, the telescope and ladder containing The Seat where we could look through the telescope.
We totally lucked out. Although there was some cloud cover, we got to look at Saturn.
It's like magic. First all I could see was this blob of white through the eyepiece. Then, suddenly there was Saturn, looking just like it's pictures. The atmosphere was clear enough so we could see the Cassini Division. It looks like a dark line and is the largest of the gaps separating the rings. I could also see the four moons.
We also looked at our own moon, so large we could only see a small part of it through one of the eyepieces. Then, through another eyepiece, we could view the whole thing.
|Our awesome tour guide to the Universe|
Driving back to the hotel, I took a picture of the moon as we see it from here. Looks nothing like the close-up I'd seen a short time before.
Tomorrow, we're off to the Outer Banks.